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Mechanical Hand Weeder Comparison Project


Objective Evaluate the effectiveness of two Hand Weeders in removing weeds and maintaining a weed control system.
Materials Required Two Hand Weeder tools
Three plots of soil each about two feet square
Existing weeds in soil or about 300 seeds of local weeds
Digital or film camera
Operation If weeds already exist, select three areas with similar numbers of weeds and similar sunlight and soil conditions.  If using seeds, plant 100 seeds in each of three plots that have similar sunlight and soil conditions.  Water each plot with equal amounts of water every day.  Label each of two plots for the name of one tool and the third plot for "No Tool".  Once weeds have begun to grow to about 6 inches in height, use the proper tool for each named plot to remove all the weeds in the plot.  Use the proper directions for each tool to make sure you are effectively using the tool.
Measurements When each plot has been labeled and seeds planted, keep notes of the date when the project was begun and take photographs of each plot and the three plots together.  If weeds are already growing, measure the heights of the smaller weeds, larger weeds and average weed.  If weeds already exist, count exactly how many weeds are visible on the first day of measurements.  Measure and count the weeds every two days until you are ready to remove them with the Hand Weeders.  When the weeds are large enough to remove, count and measure the weeds and take photos of the operation to remove the weeds in each of the two plots.  The "No Tool" plot should remained untouched, other than for watering, but measurements should be taken of the weeds in this plot every two days, as well.  After removing the weeds, take more photos and make notes if some of the weeds were only partially removed in one plot or the other.  Keep on watering and measuring weeds every two days, in case the weeds come back.  Ten days after removing the weeds, take a final measurement and photos of all three plots.
Hypothesis and Conclusion Your hypothesis will be that both tools will be more effective than no tool in removing and controlling weeds.  You will also hypothesize that one of the two tools will be more effective than the other.  When you make the final measurements, the plot with the least number and smallest remaining weeds will determine if your hypothesis was correct.  You may also comment in your conclusions if you thought one tool was easier to use, cheaper or more efficient than the other.   You may prepare a graph or table of the number of weeds and their measurements in each plot over time for your science fair exhibit.  You may also display your photos.  You should also display the actual tools you used for this experiment.

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